China Labour Bulletin, 16 Dec 2014 - Less than two thirds of China’s provinces and regions increased their minimum wage in 2014, according to data collected by CLB from official media sources this year. In all, 20 regions raised their monthly minimum wage by an average of 13.1 percent in 2014, significantly lower than in previous years.
IndustriALL, Indonesia, 15 Dec 2014 - On 10 December, 1 million members of Indonesian trade union confederations KSPI, KSBSI and KSPSI went on strike demanding wage increases after president Joko Widodo upped fuel prices. In Jakarta 50,000 people marched to the President’s Palace to voice their demands.
China Labour Bulletin, 15 Dec 2014 - A factory trade union chairman who negotiated a pay increase for company employees has now successfully sued his employer after management embarked on a campaign of harassment and retaliation against him.
This edition highlights wage issues in Viet Nam in the context of economic integration, fire safety at Better Work factories and career guidance to connect the dots for better jobs for young people. You can find another story on a business plan competition for farmers as well as information on new relevant laws adopted by the National Assembly. The newsletter also includes part of the interview by ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, Ms Sandra Polaski, with the press during her visit to Viet Nam.
What are the barriers to ensuring that a living wage is paid, and what are the root causes of low wages? Almost a century after the ILO constitution recognized the need for workers to earn a living wage, this Oxfam paper outlines the compelling reasons for responsible companies to act now to raise wages that are inadequate to meet the needs of workers and their families. The paper looks at the positive steps taken in a range of sectors, and provides a framework for deeper change. It highlights initiatives already underway and aims to help companies which source from developing countries to understand the issue and what success looks like from an Oxfam perspective. It includes recommendations, signposts further reading and suggests indicators of good practice.
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is moving towards closer economic integration among its Member States, including the free mobility of professionals and highly skilled workers. The freer flow of goods and capital will place path dependence, which encourages firms that already hire migrant workers to expand, in competition with wage convergence, which will reduce incentives for international labour migration. Most current AEC migrants are low skilled and most new migrants are likely to be low skilled. Governments need to acknowledge this reality and develop policies to liberalize and regularize the cross-border movements of labour. They cause mutual recognition agreements to promote the movement of professionals, and regulate the recruitment and employment of migrant workers, to ensure that migrant and local workers are treated equally. Demographic and economic realities suggest international labour migration within the AEC will increase making the implementation of the 2007 ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers imperative, to ensure that labour migration promotes cooperation rather than conflict between AEC Member States.
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